Plenty of visitors to Atlantic City in August stopped to speak with information counselors, some used modern technology to get visitor information, and others bolstered delegate spending and room night statistics for events at the Atlantic City Convention Center, among other positive business indicators.
The number of visitors at the information centers operated by the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) division of the CRDA rose by 10% over last August, with 21,443 people stopping for visitor information maps, reservations and souvenirs at the information centers at Mississippi Avenue and the Boardwalk and at mile 3.5 on the Atlantic City Expressway. June and July also saw similar increases over the same period the previous year.
The trend of increased use of electronic media for travel information also continued its positive trend, with a 46% increase in the use of the mobile visitor information app over last August as more than 174,000 people used it during the month. Also, of the 376,000-plus visitors in August to the www.doatlatniccity.com Website operated by the ACCVA, 66% were new visitors, signaling a continued interest in Atlantic City vacations.
At the Atlantic City Convention Center, the same number of conventions, meetings and trade shows were held as last August, but attendance was up 138% from last year with 3,490 delegates in attendance, the number of room nights rose 188% with 3,088 associated room nights, and delegate spending was up 239%. Delegates spent more than $2.6 million during the month. Although there were no public shows this August and only one last August, year-to-date public shows have drawn 8% more delegates and 8% more delegate spending than last year.
Traffic information for the Atlantic City Expressway and air, rail and bus travel to Atlantic City for the month was not yet available from the South Jersey Transportation Authority at time of publication.
“With the information we’ve gleaned from media reports about post-Sandy effects, it’s hard to anticipate what any month will bring,” said Jeff Vasser, president of the ACCVA. “But we do know that special events are a big draw, and with the Miss America Pageant, fall public shows a the Atlantic City Convention Center and a host of other events, all of the Atlantic City Tourism District entities are putting forth a concerted effort to keep visitors coming through the fall.”
Spectrum Gaming Group provides the following additional independent insight to factors impacting August’s business climate:
The following factors may have impacted drive-in visitation and tourism metrics related to Atlantic City in August 2013:
· The annual Atlantic City Airshow occurred in August of last year (on a Friday), while this event was held in June of this year (on Wednesday). This event draws hundreds of thousands of spectators to Atlantic City.
· According to the National Weather Service, August 2013 was both cooler and drier than August 2012.
o The average daily temperature this year was 72 degrees (and there were only 18 days where the daily high temperature exceeded 80 degrees) compared to an average daily temperature of 75.5 degrees in August 2012 (where 28 days had temperatures exceeding 80 degrees).
o Total precipitation in August 2013 was almost half the amount from August 2012 (2.9 inches in August 2013 compared to 5.6 inches in August 2012), while August 2013 had 5 days with heavy rainfall (one-tenth of one inch or more) compared to 7 such days in August 2012. The weekend periods in August 2013 were predominantly dry, as heavy rainfall occurred on only one weekend day throughout the month (of 14 total weekend days), while heavy rainfall impacted three weekend days in August 2012, impacting two weekend periods.
· According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average price for a gallon of gas in the region for August 2013 was down 1.7 percent versus August of last year ($3.74 vs. $3.81 per gallon). However, the average gas price for August 2013 was up slightly compared to the preceding month (July 2013), as the average price for a gallon of gas in the region increased by 0.7 percent, or by $0.03 per gallon.
The figures quoted above and others are available in the monthly Tourism Barometer, available online athttp://www.doatlanticcity.com/about/stats.aspx.
In addition to the free entertainment and events taking place all week long in Atlantic City, one more free item is sure to make your visit a little more enjoyable: * Do Parking Tuesday, September 10 thru Friday, September 13 Free parking will be available at Trump Plaza during this week's Miss America Preliminaries. For additional information and many more ways to DO AC Free and affordable, check the calendar of events at www.doatlanticcity.com or visit the affordable family fun page at http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/visitors/atlantic-city-family-activities.a spx.